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The structure and function of Mitochondria and Chloroplast

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The Structure and Function of Chloroplast and Mitochondria In this essay I will be examining the structure and the functions of chloroplast and mitochondria. Mitochondria Mitochondria are the energy factories of the cells. The energy currency for the work that animals must do is the energy-rich molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The ATP is produced in the mitochondria using energy stored in food. Just as the chloroplasts in plants act as sugar factories for the supply of ordered molecules to the plant, the mitochondria in animals and plants act to produce the ordered ATP molecules as the energy supply for the process of life. A typical animal cell will have on the order of 1000 to 2000 mitochondria. So the cell will have a lot of structures that are capable of producing a high amount of available energy. This ATP production by the mitochondria is done by the process of respiration, which in essence is the use of oxygen in a process which generates energy. This is a very efficient process for using food energy to make ATP. ...read more.


The two organisms developed a symbiotic relationship over time, the larger organism providing the smaller with ample nutrients and the smaller organism providing ATP molecules to the larger one. Eventually, according to this view, the larger organism developed into the eukaryotic cell and the smaller organism into the mitochondrion. Mitochondria are similar to plant chloroplasts in that both organelles are able to produce energy and metabolites that are required by the host cell, mitochondria are the sites of respiration, and generate chemical energy in the form of ATP by metabolizing sugars, fats, and other chemical fuels with the assistance of molecular oxygen. Chloroplasts, in contrast, are found only in plants and algae, and are the primary sites of photosynthesis. These organelles work in a different manner to convert energy from the sun into the biosynthesis of required organic nutrients using carbon dioxide and water. Like mitochondria, chloroplasts also contain their own DNA and are able to grow and reproduce independently within the cell. Function of Mitochondria The main function of the mitochondrion is the production of energy, in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ...read more.


The chloroplast is contained by an envelope that consists of an inner and an outer phospholipids membrane. Between these two layers is the intermembrane space. A typical parenchyma (bulk of substance) cell contains about 10 to 100 chloroplast. The material within the chloroplast is called the stroma, corresponding to the cytosol of the original bacterium, and contains one or more molecules of small circular DNA. It also contains ribosomes, although most of its proteins are encoded by genes contained in the host cell nucleus, with the protein products transported to the chloroplast. Function of Chloroplast Their function is to produce glucose from carbon dioxide and water. To do this they need light energy. Photosysnthesis actually takes place as two different sets of reactions. The "light reaction" requires light energy. Chlorophyll is required to convert light energy into chemical energy. This set of reactions produces two chemicals: ATP and NAHPH. In the "dark reaction" carbon dioxide and water are converted into carbohydrate. The dark reaction needs chemical energy which is supplied by ATP and NADPH. Chloroplasts: * Have a double membrane * Have their own DNA * Have their own ribosomes * Make their own enzymes * Are required for photosynthesis * Contain chlorophyll. ...read more.

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